Last night after work, I went out to my friend Ken’s farm in Candia, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful and bucolic place. Kris and I had invested in half a cow – which will supply the family with grass-fed, chemical-and-drug-free, locally raised beef for the next 9-12 months. After research, I had realized that, with the right planning, strategizing, and budgeting, (six month’s worth) this was a way our large family could do grass-fed affordably. Now it was time to pick up hundreds of pounds of steaks, roasts, ground beef, stew beef, oxtail, liver, etc.
Ken and I visited about life and running and sore muscles (we ran Boston together a few days ago), and we went down to look at the cows. They came up to the fence, licked our hands looking for a treat. They are beautiful animals, and you feel affection and compassion for them as you look into their eyes, scratch their ears. I understand why vegetarians would wish to be vegetarians. And while I continue to be a strong advocate of meat in a healthy diet, I also wrestle with the ethical and environmental complexities of meat eating and meat production. I think it’s important to do so. And important every once in a while to look into the eyes of an animal that will someday be dinner, and make that a part of the thinking. That’s by no means a bourgeoise critique of folks who can’t work the logistics to buy a cow from a friend – we’re very, very lucky. And we will still eat some supermarket meat too. But it’s more to note I am grateful for the opportunity to have known the good life these cows have had, the good man who raised them, and the good, wild New Hampshire grass and sunshine that grew them.
For anyone interested in the logistics, I’m going to write a longer blog post on these in the next month or so as time permits.